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1. AFFIRMATIVES MUST HAVE A TOPICAL PLAN. You must meet the literal interpretation of the
resolution and compare the plan against the status quo or a competitive alternative.

they win that they don’t have to read a plan their concluding advocacy must defend the resolution of
government pressure on China.

3. You must assume the current political environment, it’s essential for disad link and uniqueness ground,
utopian transitions are not predictable, or educational about how the real world works, we also lose
solvency takeouts, which makes it impossible for the neg to outweigh utopia

4. You have to defend the consequences of the plan

5. Action and discourse outside the resolution is extra-topical; that’s a voter because it kills our ability to
prepare, exploding our research burden, we can’t use PICs to test extra-topical planks, and it steals our

6. Participation should not be resolved by the ballot. You affirm the resolution, not an ideology. Debate is
competitive, not a search for enlightenment, which means that we’re forced to clash with each other even
on positions we agree with.


1) Predictability: non-literal interpretations of the topic make the resolution functionally meaningless. The
resolution becomes porous and loses its ability to serve as a guide for neg research.

2) Kills neg ground- lack of plan makes it impossible to have competitive counterplans or test the merits of
the particular outcome of the aff advocacy. Disadvantages to plan are based on the current political
circumstances – allowing affs to change their time implementation destroys all relevant disadvantage

3) Moving target- without a stable plan text the affirmative can dodge our 1nc by reinterpreting what their
advocacy is, plan focus is essential for stable and fair division of ground.

4) Fairness; all the literature is skewed their direction—no one says that the civil rights movement
was bad—or racism is good, affs interpretation forces the neg into indefensible ground

5) Intervention – encourages judicial intervention aesthetics are subjective; its all about the
judge’s reaction which is not debateable. Debates will be centered around theatrics rather then
coherent policy change. Hierarchies will continue to exist with those who can act or dance the
best. Their framework won’t have a coherent way to evaluate the debate or weigh the argument

6) You must evaluate the ‘plan’ in a acuum test – can you advocate their ideas without topical
action? This proves the uniqueness to our education claims of hearing the same arguments every

7) The government isn’t going to change because you win an affirmative. Proves your advocacy
is a sham. Your evidence is non-existent on this question, and all the debate rounds that have
been won and produced zero government change disprove the value of local advocacy, and the
value of playing a game with rules.

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8) If they can change mindsets our counteradvocacy is to have rapers stop raping and war
mongers to stop causing war and human rights violators to stop violating rights.

9) Exclusion is inevitable and participation in democratic politics is key.

Chantal Mouffe, 1999 (in Gary Olson & Lynn Worsham, Race, Rhetoric, and the postcolonial) p. 171-2

“It's not that I'm opposed to the idea of consensus, but what needs to be put into question is the nature of consensus because I think
that every consensus is by nature exclusionary. There can never be a completely inclusive consensus. I would say that the very
condition of the possibility for consensus is at the same time the condition of the impossibility of consensus without exclusion. We
can find this same idea in Derrida, but Foucault is the one who made it very clear. It's important to realize that in order to have
consensus there must be something which is excluded. So the question is not to say that therefore we're not going to seek
consensus. That's where I would differ with Lyotard. I think we need in politics to establish consensus on the condition that we
recognize that consensus can never be "rational." What I'm against is the idea of "rational" consensus because when you posit that
idea, it means that you imagine a situation in which those exclusions, so to speak, disappear, in which we are unable to realize that
this consensus which you claim to be rational is linked with exclusion. And rhetoric is important here. But it must be understood that
this is the way in which we are going to try to reach some kind of reasonable agreement—"reasonable" meaning that in certain
circumstances this is how a political community, on the basis of a certain principle or something it values, is going to decide what is
acceptable; but this process can never coincide with "rational" consensus. It is always based on a form of exclusion.

So, to come back to Perelman, when we are going to try to establish this form of consensus—in fact, to define what the common
good is, because that's what is at stake in politics—we can't do without this dimension on the condition that we recognize that there
is no such thing as a universel auditoire or the common good and that it's always a question of hegemony. What is going to be
defined at the moment as the common good is always a certain definition that excludes other definitions. Nevertheless, this
movement to want a definition of the common good, to want a definition of a kind of consensus that I want to call "reasonable" in
order to differentiate it from "the rational," is necessary to democratic politics.

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15) Our Egos are not inflated enough to believe our opinions will reform the world—Our Opinions
have real effects On Ourselves. Advocacy Of Legal Change Is Vital To Personal Opinion
Formation And Individual Freedom To Question The Those Who Grip The Levers of Power

Carlson 1999 (David Gray, COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW. v99 November Lexis)

Schlag is very hard on law professors who give advice to judges. He mocks their work as mere "pretend-law," n313 mere
journalism. n314 "One need only pick up a judicial opinion, a state statute, a federal regulation, or a law review article to experience
an overwhelming sense of dread and ennui." n315 Meanwhile, judges are not even paying attention to legal scholarship n316 -
which, experience teaches, is disappointingly true.
Vicarious participation in litigation or legislation can nevertheless be defended as a participation in culture itself. Law professors can
contribute to that culture by making law more coherent, and in this sense their project is at least as worthy as any that philosophy,
history or astrophysics [*1951] could devise. Law has an objective structure that exceeds mere subjectivity. This objective structure
can be altered by hard work. An altered legal world, however, is not the point. Evidence of consequential impact is gratifying, but this
is simply what mere egotism requires. It is in the work itself that the value of legal scholarship can be found. Work is what reconciles
the failure of the unhappy consciousness to achieve justice. Work is, in Hegel's view,
desire held in check, fleetingness staved off... work forms and shapes the thing. The negative relation to the object becomes its
form and something permanent... This negative middle term or the formative activity is at the same time the individuality or pure
being-for-self of consciousness which now... acquires an element of permanence. n317
Hegel, then, gives a spiritual turn to that worthy slogan "publish or perish." By working the law, lawyers, judges, private citizens, and
even academics can make it more permanent, more resilient, more "existential," n318 but, more to the point, they make themselves
more resilient, more "existential." n319 Work on law can increase freedom - the positive freedom that relieves the worker of
"anxiety" - fear of disappearance into the Real. n320 When work is done, the legal universe swells and fills itself out - like an
appetite that "grows by what it feeds on." n321 But far more important, the self gains a place in the world by the very work done.
Work is the means of "subjective destitution" or "narcissistic loss" n322 - the complete externalization of the subject and the
surrender of the fantasy support upon which the subject otherwise depends. In Lacanian terms, "subjective destitution" is the wages
of cure at the end of analysis. n323 Or, in Hegelian terms, cure is "the ascesis that is necessary if consciousness is to reach
genuine philosophic knowledge." n324 In this state, we precisely lose the suspicion that law (i.e., the big Other) does not exist. n325
In Hegel's inspirational words:
Each individual consciousness raises itself out of its allotted sphere, no longer finds its essence and its work in this particular
sphere, but grasps itself as the Notion of will, grasps all spheres as [*1952] the essence of this will, and therefore can only realize
itself in a work which is a work of the whole. n326
I make no special claim that legal academic work is worthy of extra-special respect. It is a craft, like any other. As such, it is at least
worthy of its share of respect. If spirit unfolds and manifests itself in the phenomenal world of culture, n327 why should it not also
manifest itself in the law reviews?

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JOYNER, Professor of International Law at Georgetown, 1999

[Christopher C., “Teaching International Law,” 5 ILSA J Int’l & Comp L, L/N//ADI]
For many international law courses taught from a political science perspective, the most sustained and most
rewarding learning experience can come from a collaborative process. Teaching international law is not supposed to
be a platform for the professor to pontificate or proselytize. Rather, it furnishes an opportunity for a community of
persons to learn together, in effect, to use the classroom experience for shaping and testing new ideas after being
exposed or basic philosophical concepts and general principles of international law.

For collaborative learning experiences to be especially meaningful for political science students, it is essential that
they reflect exposure to various legal problems, hopefully set out in authentic setting with real world analogies. This
means that hypothetical cases, if used as learning devices, should be constructed in such a manner that mirrors as
truly as practicable real world events and real world circumstances. International law must function in a real world
political environment, and simulation exercises should reflect that fact.

One successful collaborative learning experience is to assign a series of topics for team debates before the
classroom. This compels students on each debate side to conduct legal research on the merits of a particular issue,
formulate proposed rationales for its lawfulness, follow the debate, and take questions from class members on the
legal implications and merits of their respective positions. It combines individual responsibility with the necessity of
collaborative intra-group learning.

Confronting international law in practice is critical to achievement of the course objectives, and this is effectively done
through a series of debates in a course that I teach on International law and United States Foreign Policy. Students
try to WIN the games by garnering support from the rest of the class based on the merits and suasion of their legal
arguments, although past experience indicates that clear winners are not often produced. The degree of success this
exercise enjoys depends on two key factors: first, the willingness of students to assume their adopted roles with
energy and, second, the extent to which student participants in the debates can learn and relate how, where, and why
international law is [*385] integrated into the United States foreign policy decision-making process and can
demonstrate the tensions between national security considerations and international legal constraints in formulating
United States foreign policy. Taken in tandem, these two ingredients can produce a successful and unique learning
experience that fosters a deeper understanding of the subject matter than would likely be attained through a lecture-
format course.

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17) Our advocacy of specific reforms that cannot be Directly Implemented In This Debate Is
Uniquely valuable. This Kind of Utopitan Thinking Is a Vital Educational and Political Strategy

Streeten, no date (Paul,

A different criticism is that, though desirable, these proposed institutions are not feasible; they are utterly unrealistic and utopian.
There are five replies to such a criticism, in defence of utopian proposals. First, utopian thinking can be useful as a framework for
thinking, in the same way that physicists assume for some purposes a vacuum. The assumption plainly would not be useful for the
design of parachutes, but can serve well other purposes. Similarly, when thinking of tomorrow's problems, utopianism is not helpful.
But for strategic purposes it is essential. Second, the utopian vision gives a sense of direction, which can get lost in approaches that
are preoccupied with the feasible. In a world that is regarded as the best of all feasible worlds, everything becomes a necessary
constraint and all vision is lost. Third, excessive concern with the feasible tends to reinforce the status quo. In negotiations, it
strengthens the hand of those opposed to reform. Fourth, it is sometimes the case that the conjuncture of circumstances changes
quite suddenly and dramatically, and that the constellation of forces, unexpectedly, turns out to be favourable to even radical
innovation. Unless we are prepared with a carefully worked out, detailed plan, that yesterday may have appeared utterly utopian,
reforms will lose out by default. Nobody would have expected only a few years ago the dramatic changes in Central and East
Europe, the Soviet Union, China and South Africa. Although the subsequent fate of the Special Drawing Rights was disappointing,
when they were established the creation and acceptability of an international liquid asset came as a surprise to many. Fifth, the
utopian reformers themselves can constitute a pressure group, countervailing the self-interested pressures of the obstructionist
groups. Ideas thought to be utopian have become realistic at moments in history when large numbers of people support them, and
those in power have to yield to their demands. The demand for ending slavery is a historical example. It is for these five reasons that
utopians should not be discouraged from formulating their proposals, unencumbered by the inhibitions and obstacles of political
constraints, in the same detail that the defenders of the status quo devote to its elaboration, from thinking the unthinkable.


Rawls, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, 1999

[John, The Law of Peoples, pg 54]

Similarly, the ideal of the public reason of free and equal peoples is realized, or satisfied, whenever
chief executives and legislators, and other government officials, as well as candidates for public office, act
from and follow the principles of the Law of Peoples and explain to other peoples their reason for
pursuing or revising a people's foreign policy and affairs of state that involve other societies. As for
private citizens, we say, as before, that ideally citizens are to think of themselves as if they were
executives and legislators and ask themselves what foreign policy supported by what considerations they
would think it most reasonable to advance, Once again, when firm and widespread, the disposition of
citizens to view themselves as ideal executives and legislators, and to repudiate government officials and
candidates for public office who violate the public reason of free and equal peoples, is part of the political
and social basis of peace and understanding among peoples.

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19) Community based norms of ground and fairness are key to clash and productive interchange
of arguments
Ehniger 1970 (Douglas, SPECH MONOGRAPHS, "Argument as Method:Its Nature, Its Limitations and Its
Uses, p. 108)

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20) Deliberative Democracy Prevents Exploitation

Rawls 1999 (John THE LAW OF THE PEOPLE p. 138-140)

1.3. Democracy has a long history, from its beginning in classical Greece down to the present day, and there are many different
ideas of democracy.2° Here I am concerned only with a well-ordered constitutional democracy-a term I used at the outset-
understood also as a deliberative democracy. The definitive idea for deliberative democracy is the idea of deliberation itself. When
citizens deliberate, they ex- change views and debate their supporting reasons concerning public political questions. They suppose
that their political opinions may be revised by discussion with other citizens; and therefore these opinions are not simply a fixed
outcome of their existing private or nonpolitical interests. It is at this point that public reason is crucial, for it characterizes such
citizens' reasoning concerning constitutional essentials and matters of basic justice. While I cannot fully discuss the nature of
deliberative democracy here, I note a few key points to indicate the wider place and role of public reason. There are three essential
elements of deliberative democracy. One is an idea of public reason,21 although not all such ideas are the same. A second is a
framework of constitutional democratic institutions that specifies the setting for deliberative legislative bodies. The third is the
knowledge and desire on the part of citizens generally to follow pub- lic reason and to realize its ideal in their political conduct.
Immediate implications of these essentials are the public financing of elections, and the providing for public occasions of orderly and
serious discus- sion of fundamental questions and issues of public polity. Public de- liberation must be made possible, recognized
as a basic feature of de- mocracy, and set free from the curse of money.22 Otherwise politics is dominated by corporate and other
organized interests who through large contributions to campaigns distort if not preclude public discus- sion and deliberation.
Deliberative democracy also recognizes that without widespread ed- ucation in the basic aspects of constitutional democratic
government for all citizens, and without a public informed about pressing problems, crucial political and social decisions simply
cannot be made. Even should farsighted political leaders wish to make sound changes and re forms, they cannot convince a
misinformed and cynical public to accept and follow them. For example, there are sensible proposals for what should be done
regarding the alleged coming crisis in Social Security: slow down the growth of benefits levels, gradually raise the retirerneoL age,
impose limits on expensive terminal medical care that prolongs life for only a few weeks or days, and finally, raise taxes now, rather
than face large increases later.23 But as things are, those who follow the "great game of politics" know that none of these sensible
proposals will be ac- cepted. The same story can be told about the importance of support for international institutions (such as the
United Nations), foreign aid properly spent, and concern for human rights at home and abroad. In constant pursuit of money to
finance campaigns, the political system is simply unable to function. Its deliberative powers are paralyzed.

21) Deliberative Democracy Solves The Problesm of Contemporary Democracy

Bird 2000 (Colin, Democracy and Its Nightmares Spring;

Gutmann and Thompson don’t deny the importance of these sorts of constraints, but rather want to embed them within a braoder
and in their view more basic set of democratic contstraints (40). They formulate these broader constraints as a set of rules of moral
argument tio guide citizens’ (not just judges’ or academics’ [4-5, 45]) deliberations about public policy. On their model, principles of
“reciprocity,” “publicity,” and “accountability” structure the deliberations themselves, and determine what counts as an appropriate
resolution, while the values of “basic liberty,” “basic opportunity,” and “fair opportunity” form the subject matter of the deliberation
(348). According to Gutmann and Thompson, by observing these principles citizens can make up a “deliberative deficit” whose
contemporary symptoms include “communicating by soundbite, competing by character assassination, and resolving political
conflicts through self-seeking bargaining” (12).

A critic of democracy might reasonably regard these as chronic and perhaps decisive failings of representative democracy.
However, Gutmann and Thompson aren’t ready to give up on democracy, and they suggest that deliberative democracy will yield
public decisions that are “more morally legitimate, public-spirited, mutually respectful, and self-correcting.” As they concede, this “is
more than democracy in America now offers most of its citizens most of the time” (51). The clear implication is that contemporary
“soundbite” democracy typically produces morally questionable outcomes, undermines mutual respect and fellow-feeling among
citizens, and fails adequately to correct its own mistakes. It is here that Democracy and Disagreement offers a response, albeit
tentative, to a familiar contemporary variant of the democratic nightmare. Gutmann and Thompson want to convince us that their
deliberative principles can inject (a currently often absent) moral coherence and rationality into the democratic process. By
encouraging a sense of “collective moral purpose” (62), deliberative democracy can express “as complete a conception of the
common good as is possible within a morally pluralistic society” (93).

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22) Interpersonal understanding gained through role playing the government is necessary for
legitimate decision making

Rawls 1999 (John THE LAW OF THE PEOPLE p.136-137)

1.2. I now turn to a discussion of what I have labeled the third, fourth, and fifth aspects of public reason. The idea of public reason
arises from a conception of democratic citizenship in a constitutional democracy. This fundamental political relation of citizenship
has two special features: first, it is a relation of citizens within the basic structure of society a structure we enter only by birth and exit
only by death;18 and second, it is a relation of free and equal citizens who exercise ultimate political power as a collective body.
These two features immediately give rise to the question of how, when constitutional essentials and matters of basic justice are at
stake, citizens so related can be bound to honor the structure of their constitutional democratic regime and abide by the statutes and
laws enacted under it. The fact of reasonable pluralism raises this question all the more sharply, since it means that the differences
between citizens arising from their comprehensive doctrines, religious and nonreligious, may be irreconcilable. By what ideals and
principles, then, are citizens who share equally in ultimate political power to exercise that power so that each can reason- ably justify
his or her political decisions to everyone? To answer this question we say: Citizens are reasonable when, view- ing one another as
free and equal in a system of social cooperation over generations, they are prepared to offer one another fir terms of coop- eration
according to what they consider the most reasonable conception of political justice; and when they agree to act on those terms,
even at the cost of their own interests in particular situations, provided that other citizens also accept those terms. The criterion of
reciprocity requires that when those terms are proposed as the most reasonable terms of fair cooperation, those proposing them
must also think it at least reasonable for others to accept them, as free and equal citizens, and not as dominated or manipulated, or
under the pressure of an in- ferior political or social position.'9 Citizens will of course differ as to which conceptions of political justice
they think the most reasonable, but they will agree that all are reasonable, even if barely so. Thus when, on a constitutional
essential or matter of basic justice, all appropriate government officials act from and follow public reason, and when all reasonable
citizens think of themselves ideally as if they were legislators following public reason, the legal enactment express- ing the opinion of
the majority is legitimate law. It may not be thought the most reasonable, or the most appropriate, by each, but it is politically
(morally) binding on him or her as a citizen and is to be accepted as such. Each thinks that all have spoken and voted at least
reasonably, and therefore all have followed public reason and honored their duty of civility Hence the idea of political legitimacy
based on the criterion of reciprocity says: Our exercise of political power is proper only when we sincerely believe that the reasons
we would offer for our political actions- were we to state them as government officials-are sufficient, and we also reasonably think
that other citizens might also reasonably accept those reasons. This criterion applies on two levels: one is to the constitutional
structure itself, the other is to particular statutes and laws en- acted in accordance with that structure. To be reasonable, political
conceptions must justify only constitutions that satisfy this principle.

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23) Positioning ourselves as the government is key to interpersonal understanding and


Rawls 1999 (John THE LAW OF THE PEOPLE p.56-7)

How is the ideal of public reason realized by citizens who are not government officials? In a representative government, citizens
vote for representatives-chief executives, legislators, and the like-not for particular laws (except at a state or local level where they
may vote directly on referenda questions, which are not usually fundamental questions). To answer this question, we say that,
ideally, citizens are to think of themselves as they were legislators and ask themselves what statutes, supported by what reasons
satisfying the criterion of reciprocity, they would think it most reasonable to enact.7' When firm and widespread, the disposition of
citizens to view themselves as ideal legislators, and to repudiate government officials and candidates for pub- lic office who violate
public reason, forms part of the political and so- cial basis of liberal democracy and is vital for its enduring strength and vigor. Thus
in domestic society citizens fulfill their duty of civility and support the idea of public reason, while doing what they can to hold
government officials to it. This duty, like other political rights and du- ties, is an intrinsically moral duty. I emphasize that it is not a
legal duty, for in that case it would be incompatible with freedom of speech. Similarly, the ideal of the public reason of free and
equal peoples is realized, or satisfied, whenever thief executives and legislators, and other government officials, as well as
candidates for public office, act from and follow the principles of the Law of Peoples and explain to other peoples their reasons for
pursuing or revising a people's foreign policy and affairs of state that involve other societies. As for private citizens, we say, as
before, that ideally citizens are to think of themselves as if they were executives and legislators and ask themselves what foreign
policy supported by what considerations they would think it most reasonable to advance. Once again, when firm and widespread,
the disposition of citizens to view themselves as ideal executives and legislators, and to repudiate government officials and
candidates for public office who violate the public reason of free and equal peoples, is part of the political and social basis of peace
and understanding among peoples.

63. Content of the Law of Peoples. Recall that, in the domestic case,72 the content of public reason is given by the family of liberal
principles of justice for a constitutional democratic regime, and not by a single one. There are many liberalisms and therefore many
forms of public reason specified by the family of reasonable political conceptions. Our task in developing the public reason of the
Society of Peoples was to specify its content-its ideals, principles, and standards-and how they apply to the political relations among
peoples. And this we did in the first argument in the original position at the second level when I considered the merits of the eight
principles of the Law of Peoples listed in §4. These familiar and largely traditional principles I took from the history and usages of
international law and practice. As I said in §4, the parties are not given a menu of alternative principles and ideals from which to
select, as they were in Political Liberalism, and in A Theory of Justice. Rather, the representatives of liberal constitutional
democracies reflect on the advantages of the principles of equality among peoples. The principles must also satisfy the criterion of
reciprocity, since this criterion holds at both levels-both between citizens as citizens and between peoples as peoples. In the latter
case it requires that, in proposing a principle to regulate the mutual relations between peoples, a people or their representatives
must think not only that it is reasonable for them to propose it, but also that it is reasonable for other peoples to accept it.

24) USFG dosn't mean traditional debate is complicit with genocide

Bostick 2004 (Matthia, debater, "RE: Music", on edebate, apr 19,

Let me see if I understand this argument correctly. Think tanks promote genocidal imperialism, debaters work at think tanks, thus,
traditional debaters are genocidal? Sorry, that is not a logically consistent argument. That is a reason why think tanks are bad, not
why debaters are bad or why traditional debate practices in any way shape the policies of think tanks. Corporations utilize bad sweat
shops and poor environmental practices, SOME debaters will go on to work for corporations, thus TRADITIONAL debate is
responsible for all bad working conditions and poor environmental standards in the world. Debaters also smoke, smoking is bad for
you, thus, TRADITIONAL debaters are the root cause of cancer. And seriously, apologize to John. While you're at it, you really
ought to apologize to Jake as well. Calling him a date rapist in so many words? What the fuck? Is that your argumentative strategy?
'If losing argument, resort to petty, untrue personal attacks to distract.' Fucking agree to disagree about debate style....or continue to
go at it about such....but leave the personal attacks at home. Perhaps I don't speak for everyone, but the 'support my style of
debate or I will insult you publicly' argument isn't a particularly persuasive reason to make me want to embrace alternative forms of
debate. Jonah Feldman is my personal hero. Lay off my fucking coaches..... msb

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25) Fiat Good Learning and Empowerment

Our observation and practice of consensus building suggests that the analogy to role-playing games will help to illuminate the
dynamic of effective consensus processes. Even when the dispute seems intractable, role playing in consensus building allows
players to let go of actual or assumed constraints and to develop ideas for creating new conditions and possibilities. Drama and
suspension of reality allows competing, even bitterly opposed interests to collaborate, and engages individual players emotionally
over many months. Scenario building and storytelling can make collective sense of complexity, of predicting possibilities in an
uncertain world, and can allow the playful imagination, which people normally suppress, to go to work.[sup9] In the course of
engaging in various roles, participants develop identities for themselves and others and become more effective participants,
representing their stakeholders' interests more clearly,[sup10]

In many of their most productive moments, participants in consensus building engage not only in playing out scenarios, but also in a
kind of collective, speculative tinkering, or bricolage, similar in principle to what game participants do. That is, they play with
heterogeneous concepts, strategies, and actions with which various individuals in the group have experience, and try combining
them until they create a new scenario that they collectively believe will work. This bricolage, discussed further below, is a type of
reasoning and collective creativity fundamentally different from the more familiar types, argumentation and tradeoffs.[sup11] The
latter modes of problem solving or dispute resolution typically allow zero sum allocation of resources among participants or finding
the actions acceptable to everyone. Bricolage, however, produces, rather than a solution to a known problem, a new way of framing
the situation and of developing unanticipated combinations of actions that are qualitatively different from the options on the table at
the outset.[sup12] The result of this collective tinkering with new scenarios is, most importantly, learning and change among the
players, and growth in their sophistication about each other, about the issues, and about the futures they could seek. Both
consensus building and roleplaying games center on learning, innovation, and change, in a process that is entertaining and-when
conducted effectively-in some fundamental sense empowers individuals.[sup13]

26) The Plan Focus of Traditional Debate Is Ky To Clash and Education In Debates

Parcher 2001 (Jeff Feb. 26 edebate;

This is absolutely devastating to the performance arguments. And even if we could hodge-podge together some inevtiably
subjective criteria in each individual debate, they simply could never match the benefits of debate provided by a clear plan/resolution
focus. Performance debates would be incredibly repetitive in that they would always be 90% about methodolgy rather than the
substance of performances. Because the limits to possible performances are so large - both sides would always have an incentive
to focus on methodology rather than substance. The affirmative will be on an endless search to coopt the negative performance (in
the words of the Fort, "We are in solidarity with these words"). The negative on an endless search to exclude the affirmative
performance through topicality or general kritiks. Rarely do I think we would ever have debates which engaged the two
performances. The current puryeyors of this type of debate have certainly relied much more on competitiveness arguments than on
actual substantive engagement (as far as I've seen anyway). >

27) Intellectuals must theorize about problems to elucidate Solutions

Said (Edward, THE NATION< September 17/24 p. 34)

So in effect this enables intellectual performances on many fronts, in many places, many styles, that keep in play both the sense of
opposition and the sense of engaged participation. Hence, film, photography and even music, along with all the arts of writing, can
be aspects of this activity. Part of what we do as intellectuals is not only to define the situation but also to discern the possibilities for
active intervention, whether we then perform them ourselves or acknowledge them in others who have either gone before or are
already at work, the intellectual as lookout. Provincialism of the old kind--e.g., I am a literary specialist whose field is early-
seventeenth-century England--rules itself out and, quite frankly, seems uninteresting and needlessly neutered. The assumption has
to be that even though one can't do or know everything, it must always be possible to discern the elements of a struggle or tension
or problem near at hand that can be elucidated dialectically, and also to sense that other people have a similar stake and work in a
common project.

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28) Role playing debates create active learning environments giving relevance to complex
arguments increasing the learning curve

Sutcliffe 2002 (Mark. "Simulations, Games and Role-Play” Univesity of the West of England, The
Handbook for Economics Lectures,

The use of games and simulations in economics is well established, with a well-developed body of literature to support their use in
the teaching environment (see the section 8 for a list of key sources). Role-play, as an educational approach, is often referred to in
the same context as games and simulations. However, the use of role-plays in teaching has received far less attention. Collectively,
simulations, games and role-play (SGRP) provide students with some form of imaginary or real world within which to act out a given
situation. Beyond this, however, each is quite distinct. The aim of a simulation is to deepen students’ conceptual understanding by
working within, and reflecting upon, a representation of a real environment. For example, simulations of the macroeconomy may be
used to train economists by requiring them to devise economic strategies to achieve policy objectives. The dynamic of a simulation
may be competitive, whereby students are encouraged either to outperform other students or to achieve a high rating according to
criteria set by the simulation. In these cases the simulation is also a game. However, students might also be encouraged to explore
a simulation, to investigate its behaviour and discover its assumptions. For example, they might be asked to set their own criteria for
‘successful performance’ within a simulation and then to investigate how best to achieve that performance. In most cases, it is the
way in which a simulation is used that determines whether or not it is effectively a game. This choice has important implications for
the way in which a simulation may contribute to learning.
Games may be distinguished from other forms of simulation by the rules that dictate what it means to ‘win’ the game and the
sense of competition they engender. Games tend to have winners and losers. For example, a typical form of business game
requires students to compete with others in buying and selling shares on the stock market. Such games operate with clear rules for
the process and timing of share trading, and they encourage students to compete on the basis of achieving the highest level of profit
through their trading. Simulations become role-plays when the student is expected to act as they imagine appropriate to a given
role. For example, they might be asked to act as a stockbroker in a share-dealing simulation or as the Chancellor of the Exchequer
in managing the economy. The opportunity for the student to act out the role is bounded by the rules of the simulation and the
degree to which the simulation is constructed as a game. As games usually require tight rules, role-plays are likely to give more
scope for the student to exercise their own interpretation of the role when the simulation is not constructed as a game.
This chapter explores the world of SGRP. Sections 2 and 3 examine basic principles in using SGRP in teaching. Following a
review of the major strengths and weaknesses of using SGRP in teaching and learning in section 2, section 3 examines the
rationale for using SGRP at different points in a programme of teaching. Much of the chapter is taken up with three case studies of
practice presented in section 4. These case studies have been chosen because they are easily available and can be adapted for
different circumstances. Section 5 reviews some of the key issues to be considered in designing SGRP and section 6 examines the
growing impact of new technology on using SGRP in higher education. The chapter ends with brief conclusions and suggestions for
further reading. In this section we will review the main arguments both for and against the use of SGRP as a teaching and learning
strategy. Although, in many respects, simulations, games and role-play offer distinct strengths and weaknesses, in a majority of
cases arguments both for and against their use are the same. This section will therefore evaluate SGRP in general terms, making
specific reference to a particular approach only where necessary.
Supporters of the use of SGRP as a teaching strategy are frequently found to argue that its greatest virtue is that students are
encouraged to reflect on their knowledge and draw together the various dimensions of their course of study (Alden, 1999;
Oberhofer, 1999). It is, however, also recognised (Alden, 1999) that there is always a threat of simplification, where students fail to
draw upon or make optimum use of the knowledge they have been taught. The issue for the tutor is whether sufficient safeguards
can be initiated to minimise such simplification, such as the construction of clear guidance notes (see below). In addition, SGRP
often require the tutor to relinquish some control over the process and outcomes of learning. Are students reflecting upon their
knowledge in the most effective way? Francis and Byrne (1999) suggest that this drawback in using SGRP might in fact be turned
into an advantage. They argue that one of the greatest benefits they found when using SGRP in their teaching programme was that
it helped reveal ‘sticking points in student understanding’ (p. 209), in the light of which they were able to rectify the design of their
course. As well as encouraging students to reflect upon their theoretical understanding of economic concepts and arguments,
SGRP is an excellent approach by which to develop in students a greater appreciation of role and responsibility. As a teaching
method, SGRP can encourage students to empathise with the position and feelings of others and to look beyond their immediate
assumptions and expectations. As Freeman and Capper (1998) remark following an evaluation of their Web-based simulation role-
play, students ‘achieved a deeper understanding of their own views and those of others’ (p. 12). When evaluating issues of role and
responsibility, it is important for the tutor to recognise that roles might also be distorted and stereotyped, and might in certain cases
fail to reflect an accurate perception of those whom it might claim to represent. In such cases, careful debriefing is essential.
Many studies (Francis and Byrne, 1999; Oberhofer, 1999) have claimed that SGRP, especially when group based, have contributed
to a positive change in classroom dynamics. It has been suggested (Francis and Byrne, 1999) that they help break down barriers
and stimulates a greater level of long-term interactivity between students. Problems, however, might arise if students fail to take the
SGRP seriously, seeing it merely as a break from ‘real’ teaching. Oberhofer (1999) remarks upon this issue when devising a history
of economic thought class based totally upon role-play. He notes that when devising the course he had to consider not only whether
those studying the course would have the ability to make the role-play work, but also whether they would be willing to take on the
responsibility such a course would demand and fully ‘engage in the enterprise’ (p. 113). Supporters of SGRP (Neral and Ray, 1995;
Lowry, 1999) claim that such an approach to teaching and learning can give life and relevance to academically descriptive material.
Remote theoretical concepts can be given life by placing them in a situation with which students are familiar. For example,
understanding the workings of the market might be far more effectively relayed to students through a simple game rather than a
theoretical discussion of the principles of demand and supply.
Neral and Ray (1995), in discussing the merits of teaching costs and production via a game, remark that ‘many of the students in
our introductory courses have difficulty in dealing with the high level of abstraction that permeates economic theory, [and] it can be

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extremely helpful to provide these students with concrete examples of the phenomena that the theories attempt to describe’ (p.
170). They dismiss simply giving real-world examples as illustration, claiming that students have different experiences and many will
be unable to relate to the examples given. However, the use of classroom games, they claim, ‘ensures that all students have at least
some level of common experience upon which to base their understanding of the relevant theory, [and second] it actively involves
the student in the learning process’ (p. 170). As well as knowledge and roles, SGRP can contribute positively to the development of
key transferable skills, particularly in terms of communication and social skills. Depending upon the organisation of the activity, it
may be possible to develop skills in recognising and presenting arguments, presenting to an audience and working collaboratively in
a group. The literature on SGRP (Francis and Byrne, 1999; Alden, 1999; Gremmen and Potters, 1997) suggests that the typical use
of SGRP involves group work, and as such draws upon its relative strengths and weaknesses. Most SGRP, such as those
highlighted in the case studies in section 4, require students to solve problems through analysis, synthesis and evaluation: all high
level skills.

29) Role Playing is Key To Active Engagement in Political Discourse

Joyner 1999 (Christopher. ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, Spring)

Use of the debate can be an effective pedagogical tool for education in the social sciences. Debates, like other role-playing
simulations, help students understand different perspectives on a policy issue by adopting a perspective as their own. But, unlike
other simulation games, debates do not require that a student participate directly in order to realize the benefit of the game. Instead
of developing policy alternatives and experiencing the consequences of different choices in a traditional role-playing game, debates
present the alternatives and consequences in a formal, rhetorical fashion before a judgmental audience. Having the class audience
serve as jury helps each student develop a well-thought-out opinion on the issue by providing contrasting facts and views and
enabling audience members to pose challenges to each debating team.

These debates ask undergraduate students to examine the international legal implications of various United States foreign policy
actions. Their chief tasks are to assess the aims of the policy in question, determine their relevance to United States national
interests, ascertain what legal principles are involved, and conclude how the United States policy in question squares with relevant
principles of international law. Debate questions are formulated as resolutions, along the lines of: "Resolved: The United States
should deny most-favored-nation status to China on human rights grounds;" or "Resolved: The United States should resort to
military force to ensure inspection of Iraq's possible nuclear, chemical and biological weapons facilities;" or "Resolved: The United
States' invasion of Grenada in 1983 was a lawful use of force;" or "Resolved: The United States should kill Saddam Hussein." In
addressing both sides of these legal propositions, the student debaters must consult the vast literature of international law,
especially the nearly 100 professional law-school-sponsored international law journals now being published in the United States.
This literature furnishes an incredibly rich body of legal analysis that often treats topics affecting United States foreign policy, as well
as other more esoteric international legal subjects. Although most of these journals are accessible in good law schools, they are
largely unknown to the political science community specializing in international relations, much less to the average undergraduate.


By assessing the role of international law in United States foreign policy- making, students realize that United States actions do not
always measure up to international legal expectations; that at times, international legal strictures get compromised for the sake of
perceived national interests, and that concepts and principles of international law, like domestic law, can be interpreted and twisted
in order to justify United States policy in various international circumstances. In this way, the debate format gives students the
benefits ascribed to simulations and other action learning techniques, in that it makes them become actively engaged with their
subjects, and not be mere passive consumers. Rather than spectators, students become legal advocates, observing, reacting to,
and structuring political and legal perceptions to fit the merits of their case.

The debate exercises carry several specific educational objectives. First, students on each team must work together to refine a
cogent argument that compellingly asserts their legal position on a foreign policy issue confronting the United States. In this way,
they gain greater insight into the real-world legal dilemmas faced by policy makers. Second, as they work with other members of
their team, they realize the complexities of applying and implementing international law, and the difficulty of bridging the gaps
between United States policy and international legal principles, either by reworking the former or creatively reinterpreting the latter.
Finally, research for the debates forces students to become familiarized with contemporary issues on the United States foreign
policy agenda and the role that international law plays in formulating and executing these policies. n8 The debate thus becomes an
excellent vehicle for pushing students beyond stale arguments over principles into the real world of policy analysis, political critique,
and legal defense.

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30) Role playing in debate allows for a more engaging education.

Argumentation and Advocacy, 1/1/2000, eLibrary]

The basic concept of the role-play technique is easy to grasp. "The idea of roleplay," as Van Ments explains, is asking someone to
assume the dramatic posture of "another person in a particular situation. They are then asked to behave exactly as they feel that
person would. As a result of doing this, they, or the rest of the class, or both, will learn something about the person and/or situation"
(1983, p. 16). In their book, Simulation in the Classroom, Taylor and Walford explain that "[r]ole-play relies on the spontaneous
performance of participants, when they have been placed in a hypothetical situation" (p. 19). In their formulation, Taylor and Walford
isolate three key aspects of the role-play process: 1) Players take on roles which are representative of the real world, and then make
decisions in response to their assessment of the setting in which they find themselves; 2) They experience simulated consequences
which relate to their decisions and their general performance; 3) They 'monitor' the results of their actions, and are brought to reflect
upon the relationship between their own decisions and the resultant consequences (1972, p. 17).

31) Role playing is a key pedagogical tool.


ON WORLDS. Argumentation and Advocacy, 1/1/2000, eLibrary]

Simulated public argument represents a form of academic debate that promises to redeem more fully debate's potential as a
method of "dialogic" learning. In the next section, I explore the basis for such optimism by sketching the historical roots and logistical
dynamics of role-play as a classroom exercise. Since ancient times, schools have served as sites of dramatic performance in
society. The idea of the "school play" is rooted in a venerable theatrical tradition that treats drama as an independent field of
academic study, marked off from the "mainstream" curriculum. Only in this century, however, have teachers begun to recognize the
value of dramatic role-play simulation as a generic pedagogical tool for teaching a wide variety of subjects, ranging from psychology
to political science. The origin of this transition from drama as public performance to role-play as a general teaching tool can he
traced to the 1930s, when "a growing interest in small-group behavior by psychologists, psychiatrists, and sociologists led to the use
of role-play as a vehicle for extending research into human behavior in varied learning environments" (Taylor and Walford 1972, p.
19). According to McCaughan and Scott (1978, p. 22), this pedagogical technique was "first written about seriously" by Jacob
Moreno, who suggested in a 1953 book, Who Shall Survive, that role-play exercises might have broad applicability in schools.
During the 1960s, role-play teaching entered its "most prolific stage of development in the USA and UK" (McCaughan and Scott, p.
101), growing in popularity as interest in simulation gaming surged in schools and universities. Today, one can find a wide variety of
role-play exercises designed by organizations and individual teachers to teach subjects as diverse as Bushmen hunting in the
Kalahari Desert, inner-city community organizing, pollution control, and the legislative process (see Taylor and Walford, pp. 147--

32) Role playing allows for students to empower their selves as situated actors.


ON WORLDS. Argumentation and Advocacy, 1/1/2000, eLibrary]
Moore provides additional detail in his description of role-play as a pedagogical approach. Emphasizing pre-performance
brainstorming as an essential feature of the process, Moore suggests that initially, students "[f]reewrite a practice paragraph about
the topic from the point of view of the character. Try to assume his or her voice. Imagine the character being asked to speak about
the subject and write what he or she would say" (1995, p. 194). After this initial brainstorming process, a secondary discussion takes
place, where students meet in groups to "review others' papers, look for stereotypes and misconceptions ... [and] [g]ive suggestions
to the role-player on how to improve the character's argument" (Moore, p. 194). After scenes are developed and character sketches
completed, role-play participants move from the realm of invention to performance, where students engage in simulated dialogues
with each other, working to fashion statements that fit their character sketches and draw creatively from assigned readings and
background knowledge. Throughout such exchanges, students present themselves and fashion arguments not from the perspective
of their own self-identities, but rather from the perspective of hypothetical identities constructed to fit their interpretations of a
dramatic role. Traditional debate contests encourage a similar kind of perspective-taking, with students assuming the roles of
affirmative and negative advocates speaking for and against particular propositions. However, opportunities for identity
experimentation are limited in this context by the expectation that debate adversaries present arguments in the voice of omniscient
commentators, delivering overarching assessments of issues that "clash" directly with positions staked out by opponents. On the
other hand, role-play exercises encourage students to speak not as transcendent, pro/con commentators, but as situated actors in
everyday circumstances, able to assume a variety of flexible rhetorical postures, and freed from the agonistic impera-tives of
competitive debate formats.

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33) Role playing allows for an ethic of listening.


ON WORLDS. Argumentation and Advocacy, 1/1/2000, eLibrary]

The dynamic communicative interplay generated through role-play exercises carries with it a number of significant
pedagogical benefits. Most basically, by foregrounding students' oral performances as the key sources of knowledge,
"[a]n appropriately timed role-playing exercise can stimulate involvement and enhance the learning environment" (van
der Meulen Rodgers 1996, p. 217). For those who witness a classroom role-play exercise for the first time, one of the
most striking features of the activity is the radical heterogeneity of argumentation generated through the performance.
When role-play scenarios are designed to dramatize the way in which actors from a multitude of different worldviews
and voices participate in public arguments, spaces are opened for students to experiment with forms of logic, styles
of presentation, and modes of thinking that are often excluded from "mainstream" treatments of political issues. For
example, public arguments about corporate partnership agreements between public schools and big businesses
frequently unfold in austere forums like boardrooms and legislative chambers, where the resulting deliberations are
invisible to most citizens. However, consider the role-play simulation placing a high-ranking Reebok executive at a
public meeting to answer questions and counter arguments from ordinary parents and students regarding a proposed
corporate partnership agreement. This arrangement recasts the public argument over corporate involvement in public
education in new light, by bringing previously excluded voices into the discussion. This maneuver jibes with
Goodnight's call for argumentation pedagogy "to repopulate its social imagination by making less dominant abstract
decision makers or remote audiences, and foregrounding friends, teachers, parents, truant officers--the significant
and marginal 'others' framed in argumentative engagements routinely encountered by students" (Goodnight 1991, P.
7; see also Fuller 1998). Because role-play participants must fashion their unfolding scripts in relation to the
sequence of shared dialogue on which layers of meaning are constructed by students, the role-play process steers
performers toward an increased awareness of the feelings of others (see McKeachie 1990). When the communicative
space of the classroom is transformed in such a positive way, the potential is also created for students to learn in
multiple intellectual and affective registers. With role-playing, "the learning involves more of the self--it demands a
creative output calling on both the intellectual and affective areas of the learner" (McCaughan and Scott, p. 9). For
example, if a student interprets a certain role by generating a character identity predisposed toward emotional
appeals instead of so-called "rational statements," the classroom space is open for him or her to express this type of
persuasive reasoning. There seems an inherent value in providing students with opportunities that teach them how to
transpose the vernaculars of private pain or personal experience into language intended to persuade broader publics.
Olson and Goodnight argue that such opportunities clear the way for democratic moments of "social controversy" to
spring from deliberative milieux. A social controversy is an extended rhetorical engagement that critiques, resituates,
and develops communication practices bridging the public and personal spheres. The loci of such controversy include
participation in governance, distribution and use of economic resources and opportunities, assumption of personal
and collective identities and risks, redress of common grievances, assignments of rights and obligations, and the
processes of social justice (Goodnight 1991). Social controversy occupies the pluralistic boundaries of a democracy
and flourishes at those sites of struggle where arguers criticize and invent alternatives to established social
conventions and sanctioned norms of communication (Olson and Goodnight 1994, p.249). Consider the Purple Cross
role-play scenario, where a student playing a patient suffering chronic back pain appealed to insurance executives
with the argument "My back hurts! Can't you do something about it?" Such an appeal called into question the validity
of cold, bureaucratic responses such as "I'm sorry, it's against procedure for us to help you." As a "discursive
oppositional argument in social controversy," the suffering patient's emotional appeal not only clashed with the
insurance executive's denial of coverage; it also directly challenged "the implied norms of participation signaled by
the communication" (Olson and Goodnight, p. 251). This sort of argument has the potential to validate expressions of
self-identity in public spheres and help students explore the limits of such assertions as reasonable arguments
advanced in public dialogue.

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34) Role playing offers unique educational opportunity.


ON WORLDS. Argumentation and Advocacy, 1/1/2000, eLibrary]

Role-play performance thus works as a springboard to appreciation and critique of prevailing communication norms
that lock in expert authority in public debate. When role-play exercises highlight contrasts between participatory
classroom spaces and the frequently closed and restrictive public spaces beyond the schoolyard walls, room is
created for students to question the appropriateness of the formal rules and informal presumptions governing public
discourse. Students can use the apparent cleavage between simulated and actual public spheres to leverage salient
critiques of contemporary practices in public argument, such as the manner in which power and money are used to
exclude persons with important viewpoints from discussion. In this way, visions of possible public spheres enacted
through classroom performance can serve as benchmarks for re-visions of prevailing communication norms in wider
public spheres outside the academy. The "kinetic" knowledge (Kincheloe 1993, p. 83) generated by active student
involvement in meaning-making is differentiated from the reductive and detached knowledge transmitted to students
through top-down didactic exercises. One difference that separates these two kinds of knowledge is mnemonic value.
"The role play simulation shows promise as an active learning technique which fosters student interest, helps
students apply material to real world situations, and may be remembered by students well after the course ends"
(deNeve and Heppner, p. 244). For example, a follow-up evaluation of students eight months after the conclusion of
an industrial psychology course that featured role-playing as a pedagogical technique "showed a tendency for
students to remember more information from the role play simulations than from the lectures" (deNeve and Heppner,
p. 243). One explanation for these findings is that the excitement and drama of role-play scenarios can serve as
significant motivators for students to conduct research. The anticipation of public performance and the desire to act
well for one's peers are strong incentives prompting students to conduct research in order to generate a believable
and colorful character interpretation, as well as orient themselves vis-a-vis other roles featured in role-play
simulations. For example, to prepare for role-play deliberations in the U.N. General Assembly over a proposed
resolution condemning U.S. missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan, students playing the roles of Afghanistani,
Pakistani, and Sudanese ambassadors carefully researched primary news sources from those countries in order to
generate realistic character interpretations. These research efforts produced novel findings that disputed mainstream
U.S. news accounts alleging, for example, that the targets of the American missile attacks were unambiguous sites of
terrorist activity. Further, since these findings were introduced through the praxis of student dialogue, the process of
research and oral presentation was intrinsically empowering, representing a reversal of the debilitating pedagogical
dynamics of the "banking concept of education" described by Freire (1970, p.53).

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35) Role playing is politically empowering and educational


PLAY ON WORLDS”, Argumentation and Advocacy, 1/1/2000, eLibrary]
The positive energy generated by roleplay activities can be inspiring, but importantly, such simulations will
not automatically deliver meaningful learning experiences if the approach is reduced to a formulaic
technique. Desultory role-play exercises conducted in an offhand spirit have the potential to deteriorate
into comical rows that duplicate many of the drawbacks of more traditional adversarial debate formats.
Even more damaging, uncritical role-play simulations can mirror and reify oppressive power relationships
that currently constrain deliberation in many public spheres. Indeed, many pedagogical challenges inhere
in the project of developing role-play curriculum to energize classroom discussion, stimulate appetites for
student learning, and prompt critical reflection on the part of participants. Some of these challenges
involve preparatory work essential to transform the classroom into an inviting space where students feel
comfortable taking rhetorical risks. Other challenges come into play in the mid st of role-play activities,
when the momentum of energetic student dialogue needs to be maintained and channeled into productive
avenues of discussion. The degree to which the potential benefits of a role-play curriculum can be
realized in practice depends largely on the prior creation of a favorable learning environment in the
classroom. Since role-playing involves risk-taking, mutual trust among students and teachers is
necessary to counter the danger that encounters with unfamiliar roles may cause "withdrawal or
defensive panic" (Mc- Caughan and Scott, p. 11; see also Kincheloe 1993, p. 227). Indeed, it can be
frightening for students to be cast into roles wholly foreign to their life experience (McCaughan and Scott,
p. 11), so teachers must build a positive classroom environment that focuses student attention on the
broader purposes of schooling, where students are linked together in a common project of educational
emancipation (see Freire 1994; Giroux 1997). With the educational enterprise recast in a co-operative
and purposeful light, it is easier to cultivate a mutually supportive classroom environment where students
can experiment comfortably with the political and affective dimensions of identity construction through
dramatic performance. Such experimentation is necessary to realize role-play's heuristic potential as a
source of critical knowledge about social relationships between persons with heterogeneous identities
and interests. By playing roles that depart from their own self-identities, students not only learn valuable
lessons about how others view the world, but they also experience what it might be like to adopt different
notions of selfhood. Because there is a natural tendency for students to choose dramatic roles with which
they identify closely, careful teacher interventions into the character selection process may be helpful in
stimulating student experimentation in this regard. For example, discussion in the initial role-play
brainstorming process could highlight the natural fluidity of identity positions, thereby encouraging
students to step outside relatively settled perspectives and develop characters diverging from their own
familiar senses of selfhood. In classrooms where teachers have formed strong bonds of mutual trust wit h
students, a more direct approach could be used. This might include active teacher involvement in the role
selection process, where teachers suggest or assign particularly challenging roles for particular students
to assume. Even in classrooms characterized by a supportive dynamic that invites all students to speak
out, teachers conducting role-play activities still often face the dilemma of role scarcity, i.e. that there may
not be enough characters in a simulated public argument to allow each student to play a role. For
example, the Nevada Boxing Commission role-play simulation discussed earlier was conducted in a class
of fifteen students, but the simulation featured only three characters (Mike Tyson, his agent, and the

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boxing commissioner). Because active performance is such a critical learning stimulus in the role-play
approach, this discrepancy deserves careful consideration. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies
available to maximize student participation even under conditions of role scarcity. One very basic solution
is to design role-play scenarios that tolerate multiple players for each role. For example, in the Reebok
role-play, there were frequently two or three students playing the roles of parents or teachers in the
simulated public argument. Another strategy for broadening student participation involves extending the
pre-performance brainstorming process. After a cast of characters is generated for a particular scenario,
students can then convene into small breakout groups, with each group assigned to brainstorm
arguments and performance styles that would be appropriate for a particular character. Following a robust
brainstorming period, each small group can next volunteer one of its members to carry the group's ideas
to the larger class, by performing the particular character role in the actual simulation. As the action
unfolds in this way, students from brainstorming groups can act as "alter egos" (McCaughan and Scott, p.
134) of their performing colleagues, watching the drama from afar and offering feedback privately when
they notice an opportunity to inject an argument or provide strategic advice. A modification of the
Mcaughan and Scott's "alter ego" strategy borrows a dramatic technique from improvisational theater,
where performers on the "sidelines" jump in to "freeze" the action with a tap on the shoulder of a
performing character, and then restart the drama by redirecting the action with their own contribution. This
basic objective can also be accomplished by running a series of role-plays using the same cast of
characters, but with a new set of students rotating in for each performance. Yet another strategy for
drawing a greater number of students into the realm of performance involves pursuit of "spin-off" role-
plays that grow out of initial simulations. For example, in some performances of the Reebok role-play
where parties participating in a simulated public discussion agreed to accept the Reebok offer, follow-up
scenes were created to simulate difficulties involved in implementation of the agreement in practice. One
such "spin-off" scene involved the hypothetical case of a student who wrote a poem critical of Reebok in
English class. To simulate a discussion designed to decide the fate of this imaginary student under the
Reebok agreement, a new set of students were invited to play the roles of principal, Reebok executive,
parent, teacher, and student, called together to discuss the matter in the principal's office.

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36) Role playing is good as it allows for co-operation and greater excitement as well as education.


PLAY ON WORLDS”, Argumentation and Advocacy, 1/1/2000, eLibrary]
Since the role-play approach could reduce the intimidation of engaging in debate activities as traditionally
understood, it makes sense to consider role-play as a potential bridge that could carry debate activities to
diverse areas of high school and college curricula. In this light, deNeve and Heppner point out that the
role-play approach has wide potential applicability as a pedagogical tool in multiple academic fields.
"[T]he role play simulation," they explain, "can easily be modified for use in such diverse disciplines as
economics, law, medicine, political science, and sociology" (deNeve and Heppner, P. 245). Since
administrators contemplating approval of cross-curricular role-play initiatives will likely ask for concrete
illustrations of the ways in which role-play exercises can be graded and implemented across fields in a
co-ordinated fashion, this section provides heuristic reflections on these important questions of
assessment and implementation. The prospect of teacher intervention into unfolding role-play simulations
raises some significant questions regarding assessment logistics. How are student performances to be
graded? If role-play exercises are truly relational and co-operative projects involving the entire class
(including students and teachers), how can teachers evaluate each individual's contribution in a fair
manner? Are there ways to create an assessment system so as to encourage students to model
particularly desirable dialogic behaviors? The most appropriate answers to these challenging questions
are likely to evolve out of the particular curricular constraints and unique pedagogical styles employed by
different teachers. However, teachers seeking to integrate role-play exercises into curriculum might
consider using a three-part assessment sequence that evaluates student performance in the areas of
preparation, performance, and reflection. Initially, student work completed in preparation for actual role-
play performances could be assessed using basic and concrete evaluative criteria. In the initial
brainstorming stage of role-play projects, students could generate a list of characters populating the
chosen public argument, with each student then cast to play a particular role. At this point in the process,
students could be assigned the task of preparing written "character sketches" for their selected roles.
These documents might contain a general description of the student's fictional character (e.g. name,
background), an explication of the character's stake in the controversy, a preview of the likely initial
positions the character would take in public argument, and a brief discussion of the style of presentation
the character would use to present these arguments. Teachers could assess character sketches based
on the degree to which students provide lucid, creative, and detailed treatments of these four areas. This
preparation stage of the r ole-play project could be extended in cases where selected topics present
opportunities for in-depth research, or where teachers follow Moore's strategy of adding an additional
layer of assessment by inviting students to exchange and

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critique each others' character sketches (see Moore, p. 194). Assessment in the performance stage of
role-play exercises represents a more difficult challenge. In fact, there are compelling reasons to carve
out actual role-play performances as relatively "grade-free" zones for students. For example, intense role
scarcity or frequent teacher intervention could interfere with the ability of students to "get a word in
edgewise," and it would be unfair to penalize these students for circumstances beyond their control.
Additionally, since arguments advanced in role-play simulations involve highly subjective identity
interpretations, it would be difficult indeed for teachers to develop evaluative criteria that would judge
radically different student performances fairly. Further, if role-play evaluations were based on frequency of
participation, competition for performance time could reproduce similar aspects of the zero-sum
antagonism found in traditional competitive debate models. Given these complications, it would seem
appropriate for teachers to employ a minimalist evaluation method for assessment in the performance
stage of role-play exercises, perhaps simply assigning a satisfactory / unsatisfactory grade to each
student, based on attendance. If more specific means of assessment are required, one strategy might
involve application of student-generated criteria, solicited during the preparation phase. For example,
prior to role-play performance, students could be asked to supply an answer to the question: "What
criteria should the teacher use to evaluate your performance?" Answers to this question could generate
specific criteria to evaluate the role-play performances of particular students.